Leaving and Coming Back to Canada : Evidence from Longitudinal Data (Working Paper 32)
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The paper exploits the unique strengths of Statistics Canada's Longitudinal Administrative Database ("LAD"), constructed from individuals' tax records, to shed new light on the extent and nature of the emigration of Canadians to other countries and their patterns of return over the period 1982-1999. The empirical evidence begins with some simple graphs of the overall rates of leaving over time, and follows with the presentation of the estimation results of a model that essentially addresses the question: "who moves?" The paper then analyses the rates of return for those observed to leave the country - something for which there is virtually no existing evidence. Simple return rates are reported first, followed by the results of a hazard model of the probability of returning which takes into account individuals' characteristics and the number of years they have already been out of the country. Taken together, these results provide a new empirical basis for discussions of emigration in general, and the brain drain in particular. Of particular interest are the ebb and flow of emigration rates observed over the last two decades, including a perhaps surprising turndown in the most recent years after climbing through the earlier part of the 1990s; the data on the number who return after leaving, the associated patterns by income level, and the increases observed over the last decade.